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5 Great Places To Watch July 4th Fireworks From Arlington, VA


The annual Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., are one of the largest displays in the U.S.A.

The best way to avoid the crowds and get a great view of the Independence Day celebration is from across the Potomac River in Arlington, VA.

Here are 5 great places to watch July 4th fireworks from Arlington, VA:

1. U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial

My favorite location is from the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial – known to locals as the Iwo Jima statue.

U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington County, Virginia
📸 Wikipedia

It’s my favorite because you’ll watch the spectacle from a hill above the Potomac River with an iconic view of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the U.S. Capitol in the background.

The memorial is a short walk from the Rosslyn Metro station.

Get there early and don’t forget your camera!

2. Along the banks of the Potomac River

The National Mall sits directly across the Potomac River from Arlington, and there are 3 miles of riverbank from which to watch the fireworks.

The National Mall near near the downtown area of Washington, D.C.
📸 Wikipedia

Some places are harder to access than others, due to parking restrictions along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, but if you make the effort you can have all the space you’ll need to spread out with a picnic and an unobstructed view of the fireworks in D.C.

Other, more defined, locations along the Potomac include:

Gravelly Point

Gravelly Point is an area within the National Park Service's George Washington Memorial Parkway in Arlington County, Virginia, in the United States. It is located on the west side of the Potomac River, north of Roaches Run and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
📸 National Park Service

Just off the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Gravelly Point is a large, grassy park next to National Airport and offers a parking lot, picnic tables and portable restrooms. Gravelly Point is also considered one of the best places in the country to watch planes landing and taking off – they’ll be just 100 to 150 feet overhead.

Access Gravelly Point from the northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway, the Mount Vernon bike trail or even a short walk from the Blue Line Metro station at National Airport.

Lady Bird Johnson Park

Lady Bird Johnson Park along the Potomac River
📸 Wikimedia Commons

Though technically located in D.C., Lady Bird Johnson Park is on the Arlington riverbank side. You can access the park from the bike trail or the southbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Columbia Island Marina

Columbia Island Marina along the George Washington Memorial Parkway via the National Park Service
📸 National Park Service

Limited parking is available at the Columbia Island Marina, where you’ll also find restrooms, water fountains and a small restaurant.

3. U.S. Air Force Memorial

The U.S. Air Force Memorial sits up on a hill overlooking the Pentagon and the D.C. monuments and is ideal for fireworks viewing.

Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia
📸 Air Force District of Washington

Prior to the fireworks at 8 p.m., there will be a free concert featuring the Concert Band and Singing Sergeants.

The memorial is located at 1 Air Force Memorial Drive, Arlington, off of Columbia Pike.

4. Key Bridge

Francis Scott Key Bridge in Rosslyn, Virginia
📸 Wikipedia

The Francis Scott Key Bridge — between Rosslyn and Georgetown — offers 1,700 feet of sidewalk over the Potomac to view the fireworks from the National Mall.

The sidewalk usually gets crowded, and there is no place to sit, so get there early to grab a spot or time it so you can walk into Georgetown to enjoy some post fireworks cocktails.

The Key Bridge is a 10-minute walk from the Rossyln Metro station and the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.

5. Long Bridge Park

Long Bridge Park in Arlington, Virginia

Long Bridge Park is a large park (30 acres) with parking, rest rooms, picnic areas a network of walkways, play areas, a waterfowl sanctuary and a fantastic view of the D.C. fireworks. The park is adjacent to I-395 at 475 Long Bridge Dr., Arlington, VA, and a short walk from the Crystal City Metro station.

Have questions? Or want to buy or sell in Arlington, Virginia?

Meg Ross, Top Realtor in Arlington County, Virginia